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‘Little Hearts’ is a thought-provoking short story. It revolves around two little girls’ perception of the world and the narrow-minded one of adults.
About the Author:
Information about the author is unknown.
The theme of this short story is childhood. The author manages to bring out the simplicity in children in contrast to the complexities of adulthood.
The Two Girls:
The story begins with Akulka and Malasha, two girls studying in sixth grade dressed up for their village festival one rainy Sunday. As the older one of them Akulya saw Malasha try to play in the puddles on the road with her shoes on, she advised her to remove them in fear of her receiving her mother’s scolding. Thus, both the girls proceeded to play barefoot.
Realizing that Malasha was afraid, Akulka began to soothe her. Before she could do so, however, Malasha jumped into the puddle, splashing Akulka’s face and new dress in the process. In a fit, Akulka almost hit Malasha. A frightened Malasha ran away. Akulka’s mother came along and saw her muddied dress. Upon Akulka saying that it was Malasha who had purposely splashed her, her mother found Malasha and slapped her.
When Malasha’s mother saw this, she grew furious. A quarrel ensued. It soon turned into a huge fight and men joined it. Akulka’s grandmother tried to stop the fight, in vain. Even as this fight was going on, Akulka and Malasha had already forgotten what had transpired. Together, they began playing in the puddle once again, laughing and throwing papers into it.
The grandmother noticed this and brought it to everyone’s attention, scolding the adults for making a mountain out of a molehill. Ashamed, they laughed it off, bringing an end to the fight. This story is thus a portrayal of childhood innocence, before it gets tainted by complex adulthood.